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 Battle of Jericho VII - ODST, Operation: BREADBASKET
Gabe Kawolski
 Posted: Aug 5 2015, 03:53 AM
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The ODST stirred in his seat after the impact that had torn him through some twenty meters of asphalt and autobody materials that happened to jammed into the city streets. Somehow, his pod was conveniently positioned on its side, leaving him hanging in an awkward position. Through its broken viewports he saw littered debris and not much else, the warm trickle of blood in his brow slowly creeping its way into the white space in his left eye. He shut it tight, gritting his teeth as he unclasped his restraints and felt weight press upon his right side.

"Fuck," he spat, wrestling his M7S to bear in the tight space.

With a few ragged breaths, he composed himself as best he could and fought to keep one eye open, taking stock of the remaining shambles of the pod. He knew at the awkward resting position of his HEV, the hatch wouldn't likely open. The explosive bolts were about all he could think of, and as much as he hated the idea of making more noise, being tracked was better than being caught dead. He armed three of the four bolts with the smack of his free palm, then slowly calmed his breath as his fist hovered over the last one. He dragged in a few seconds of air, slowly breathing out through pursed lips, hands sweating beneath his gloves, fingers tight around his SMG grip.

On a quick decision, he moved his hand from the bolt and instead braced against his seat's arm rest. Bringing his knees up, he put his boot to the hatch repeatedly, hoping to get a little bit more give. He thought about also using its fuel reserve to relocate somehow, but if the explosive bolts weren't enough to zero in on him, then that sure as hell would act as a beacon. After the hatch proved itself to be a obstacle of worthy merit, he gave in, and without hesitation, hit the arming mechanism on the last cap. Tensing up at the rough hiss of gas-bolts, Gabe pushed as far away from the hatch as he could, shying his head toward the seat. It didn't make much of a difference.

The blast felt like it should have been louder, and he would have realized that it was if he heard it in both ears. The right was plagued by the muffled chime of a churchbell, the concussion from the cap so close to his head blurring his vision, leaving trails of movement in his eyes like sunspots as he watched the hatch tumble down the road. Rolling his way out, he fell to one knee, bracing himself against the pod with an arm as he tried to scan his surroundings as he chambered the first around to his weapon with a pair of clicks.

Corporal Gabriel "Strip" Kawolski had probably come up with two new forms of profanity in the ten seconds it took him to secure himself in his own temporary safety beside his still smoking SOEIV, parked unceremoniously on the other side of an intersection, just ten feet from the shattered front windows of a cafe/bookstore/teenage gradeschooler makeout spot. He looked both ways across the street, then looked left and right--north and south--for a final movement check. So far, his HUD was clear, and that was enough for him. The blood haze covering his left eye wasn't helping much.

He depressed his comm pad, putting a free hand to the chin of his helmet whilst leveling his M7 with the other one. "Delta Two Actual," he coughed wearily. No reply, not even static. "Delta Two Actual. Fitz, do you copy?"

Nothing. Fuck. Fuck, what the fuck? He looked both ways again. Still clear. God damn it.

Knowing he would be waiting on a reply, Gabe maneuvered his way around to the shielded panel on the drop pod's starboard side. Popping its tab, the angular wedge of titanium flopped open with a creak and revealed an assortment of grenades and spare ammunition packs in the form of sealed packages and weapon mags; five for his M7S, four for the M6C holstered at his thigh, and another five for the BR55 that was...located in the other panel. Making haste, he scrounged up what he could, stuffing it into his ruck. He knew he'd stand a better chance with his '55, but the chances of getting it out from under the buried port panel was less than his survival odds.

"Fuck me..." he said, looking at the mangled shell of his HEV. With his luck, the rifle didn't even survive the hit.

Suddenly, in the distance, he heard a voice, guttural but not enough to discern as either human or Covenant. He adjusted his gaze northbound up the road ahead, using his HEV as cover, resting his M7 over the heated surface as he willed his VISR's low-light/tactical mode to activate. Instead of the lines mapping his surroundings, he was met with his same blurred vision. He tried it manually, touching a pair of fingers to his visor. Still nothing.

"Fucking....fuck. Delta Two--anyone respond. This is Kawolski, please respond."

Comms are out. They have to be, he told himself. Worst of all, as he turned his head to cover his blindspot, he noticed his holographic compass wasn't adjusting at the top of his HUD either. Comms weren't all that was out. NAV was too, and he was willing to bet his armament display wouldn't correct itself when it mattered either. His entire VISR system was frozen. He would have to reboot. Then, a block north of his position, he made out movement wading through the dusty streets. At the center was the unmistakable silhouette of a Sangheili rifleman--rank unknown but he wasn't ready to face so much as a blue-amored minor, the lowest of Elite ranks that he had come to affectionately call "softshells." Not head to head anyway, not with the supports that quickly revealed themselves on either flank, weaving in and out of the abandoned and forced-to-a-halt vehicles that littered the streets.

Unggoy and Kig-yar, he noted as they drew nearer. Not happening, he muttered. Slinging up his ruckpack to a shoulder, he turned for the cafe but halted. No, too easy. Turning around, he bolted for the opposite side of the street, throwing himself over the railing and onto a patio. A moment later, he was inside the bar--surprisingly intact from evacuation and looters. Not the perfect place to put between him and a possible pursuit, but it would almost certainly give him a better hiding spot.
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Jeff Fitzhugh
 Posted: Aug 18 2015, 07:15 AM
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Joined: 1-April 15
Alias: Sam

Rank: SSgt (E-6)
Branch: UNSCMC
Unit: Delta-Two



"Tally is positioning, over."

Moments later, Sergeant Hardy relayed the exact hostile force strolling along the road in front of Fitz: one Ghost, one Elite and seven Grunts. That was somewhere in between a file and a lance. It was probably just a reinforced patrol. Did that mean that the platoon's drop had been noticed? Their numbers would back up that theory but their relaxed pace didn't make sense. Either way, they were a threat that needed to be dealt with, since they'd picked the squad's rendezvous to brush up on their cardio.

"Engaging in three... two... one..."

The SRS99D-S2 AM sounded like a bomb going off with the silence of the empty city. That soon changed as eight Grunts, including the Ghost driver, began to screech about the mist that had previously been the top half of their superior. Fitz, who had been peeking around the structural support to witness the carnage, was sprayed with purple. Something squishy slapped him in the visor too. He grimaced at what was probably a stray organ, brushing it off of the lip of his helmet with the back of his fingers where the glove protected them.

He ducked back behind the column as the second shot was fired, looking down at the left side of his BDU. His leg, his arm and one side of his helmet was damn near entirely purple, wet with the blood of the late Minor, while his right side remained its usual matte black self. He cursed at the mess as he sprang from cover. He used the third shot, which went through the Ghost entirely to disable it, to mask the noise of his movement. He pressed up against the railings and looked down at the Grunts. One of them fell, almost exploding as Tally expended the fourth and final round of his magazine.

"Fitz, Tally: confirmed kills, gator and Ghost, break. Displacing, out."

"Good kills, good kills. Cheers, T."

Staff Sergeant Fitzhugh cut the chatter. He opened up on the fleeing Grunts from above with his M7S. 5x23mm peppered the little buggers, seemingly not doing much. Two of the furthest Grunts were his initial targets, each taking about half a mag to their chests and methane tanks. The first died from the rounds themselves, leaving the second one to drown without his supply of gas. The other Unggoy, five in total, were still hiding from the aggressor to the north, likely scared of the trails of smoke that were only now dissipating. Slapping a fresh mag onto the side of his submachine gun, Fitz aimed to use that to his advantage.

He vaulted the railing, switching from his SMG to his M6C/SOCOM. The moment he hit the ground, a trio of shots found themselves hurtling towards the closest threats to his right. Two smacked the nearest in the face, killing it instantly, while the third only staggered his buddy. A fourth shot finished up the second double tap and lodged itself in the Grunt's brain. The staggering had given the alien time to react though, even if it was only a pained yelp. That was all it took to get the attention of the remaining three hostiles.

Fitz didn't let that change anything though. He switched his plan and instead dashed towards the two he'd just neutralized. He picked up the slouching corpse slightly, hiding behind it as the first of the enemy fire came. A torrent of green slammed into their fallen friend, melting the thing's thick skin and warping its armoured portions. Shooting at their comrade must have startled them because there was a break in fire, one that allowed Fitz to poke his sidearm around his shield's side and fire back. With the suppression in place, he made a final move to end the combat.

With a bit of a struggle, the ODST lifted the body and chucked it towards to the furthest Grunt, the one on his own to the left. Fitz followed the throw swiftly, sidestepping as he put two shots into each of the Grunts in front of him. That left him with an empty mag from what he had counted and from what his HUD was now saying. He'd planned for that to have been the case, drawing his knife as he took one final sidestep towards the last Unggoy. The freakish little thing was only just recovering from the other freakish little thing that had been lobbed at him, opening its dazed eyes to see the ODST's combat knife plunged deep into its neck, the silver blade glinting with the light from the blue flames of the wasted Ghost.

"Seven contacts down. DZ is clear. Delta-Two, continue to RV," notified the Staff Sergeant over the COM. He pulled his knife free of the Grunt's throat, flicked it free of the cyan blood and sheathed it. The empty magazine of his M6C fell into his hand too after he pressed the mag release. A new one, loaded with twelve 12.7x40mm rounds, took its place and was quickly magnetized to the team leader's thigh with the rest of the weapons platform. The M7S then came out again, leading its wielder up the steps and towards the glass doors of the seemingly deserted police station.
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Gabe Kawolski
 Posted: Aug 19 2015, 10:43 PM
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Gabe never had the best kind of luck to get himself out of the waist-high corner he had thrown himself into. He had a habit of being singled out of groups when he didn't want to be, and with the amount of time he spent with a DI in his face, he could have applied it to the amount of time it would take two strangers to get to being on a first name basis. Second, he was about as gracious as an ox right about now, still sweating over an unknown severity of head trauma and now dodging a patrol, and the carpet of broken glass covering a hardwood floor around him wasn't helping. He closed his eyes, letting his thumb find the fire selector that he had neglected to attend to. He set it to SEMI with a snap just as he felt himself start to feel drowsy, pulling his eyes open just in time for the patrol to patter their way into the immediate splashdown of his pod.

Softshell was already grunting out orders, his hoof falls clamoring out of the wish wash of stubby clop clop clops and nearly-non-existent Jackal strides made their way toward his location with a frightening speed; it wasn't more than a job, but it made him clench more than his jaw, and gave him some time to prep. Slowly, he shrank his legs closer to his body, laying against the bar wall. The titanium-A boot disturbed one of the broken shards of glass with a hollow chime and crunch, and all at once the footfalls seemed to stop.

As Gabe held his breath, he heard the others--the Elite, the Grunts--still at their own tasks, but the Jackal...maybe he was just feeling paranoid. Either way, the vulture would go first, quickly by knife.

Or, as fate decreed, it would suddenly stick its head over the wall for a quick scan of the bar's interior, putting him directly above Gabe. Tightening his expression, the Corporal slowly tilted his gaze upward to the oblivious scout just as it brushed aside a range of broken glass that remained on the sill, peppering his visor. It leaned in, resting its arms against the frame and leveled its weapon as its reptilian eyes observed the room. Alright then. Game on. He flicked to AUTO. It took the creature a second too long to notice the edge of Gabe's boot, a second that Gabe saw in bullet-time as he made the next move.

In a flash, he grabbed the alien's support hand and yanked his upper body downward, dragging his bracer off of the glass covered sill and his exposed skin along the jagged edges that remained, putting his SMG's suppressed barrel beneath the Kig-Yar's chin and drowning its pained scream in a four round burst and messy purple splash of blood and bone that peppered Gabe's vision. Its body fell limp, and normally with his passion for trying to cover his tracks, he'd have hauled the oversized game out of sight, but something told him to leave it where it lay. That side of their coverage was dead already, no need to make a fuss over it. In a quick decision, he shot to his feet with knees bent and hurdled his way to the other end of the bar to the no-longer-lit EXIT sign. He had spent enough time between then and his first kill to go by without the rest of the patrol missing their headless rifleman, so he barged through it.

By now, the steam was rolling. He could hear Softshell raising his voice--not a challenge with their lung capacity it would seem, and Sangheili was a distinct language--and the Grunts following suit with their chipper and enthusiastic yips. The exit took him through straight, dim hallway that eventually came to a sharp right, then another door. He pushed this one open with his free palm, following it out with his SMG raised in the other hand as the light flooded him. His eyes adjusted, melding the bright wash with the ground level scene. This one was clearer than the last. All the more reason to stay off the street.

He dashed across the street toward what looked like an imports department, and it was relatively untouched from all the conflict. Even the custom designed tempered glass stood tall in his path. Fancy glass doors were no match for the unwavering momentum of a determined hard-charger, Gabe told himself, and at his best sprinting pace, put himself shoulder first through the glass, running into the marble wall on the other side with a noisy thud. He rolled off the wall, wasting no time looking for a continuation to his escape route, only to determine that the stacks of displayed furnishings would be enough to take cover behind. He accepted the possibility of engaging the enemy, but even still, he knew his priorities would just get delayed again and again, so he decided to make a huge mistake.

With one hand, he popped the seal on his helmet and removed it, then set his weapon down as he tucked low behind the onyx-colored desk that the department was apparently marketing as the "I'm a woman-slaying CEO" throne. Helmet upturned, he fished inside and pulled out one of its pads to expose its cortex. It was no more than a series of idiot-proof instructions; remove the hard-reset specific key from pull-up tab; insert hard-reset specific key into hard-reset slot, hold for eight seconds. By the seventh second, he heard a confused woop from across the street. He chanced the last moment, slotting everything back in place with uncoordinated fingers, simultaneously trowing his helmet back on and grabbing his M7. Whether the reset worked or not, he would have to find out, but for now he needed his protection.

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Jeff Fitzhugh
 Posted: Jun 25 2018, 10:27 PM
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Member
Group: Members
Posts: 10
Joined: 1-April 15
Alias: Sam

Rank: SSgt (E-6)
Branch: UNSCMC
Unit: Delta-Two



Fitz watched as the only IFF tag on his HUD slowly descended. So far, they were the only two of the twenty-four Marines that had dropped that were in the vicinity of the DZ. It worried Fitz. He furrowed his brow behind his faceplate as he opened up a COM to Stamel. Despite the silence afforded to him by his helmet, he kept his voice low.

"Delta One, Delta Two. Status, over?"

Nothing came back. Stamel was as green as someone could be after meeting the requirements to even think about ODST selection; he knew that all of her channels would be set correctly and perfectly. If everything had gone to plan. she'd be trying to establish communication with her units. Either her gear had suffered damage, the drop had knocked her clean out or her HEV was now serving as her coffin.

"Delta One, Delta Two. Anyone reading me on this net, over?" he repeated, though this time opening the channel to the entirety of Stamel's team. Again, nothing. Concern washed over him and he clenched his teeth in a mix of both anger and frustration. Drops usually had casualties but not on this scale, especially on such a quiet entry.

"Two, this is One," came an exhausted voice that filled Fitz with the tiniest ounce of hope. As the heavy, unhealthy breathing continued after the return though, he immediately assumed the worst. The transmission cut short before brevity was upheld.

Fuck brevity.

"Nice to hear someone's voice, One. You don't sound too hot. What's your status, over?"

The transmission keyed up again as a green light winked on from a Lance Corporal Kenan Mace. Words didn't come right away, instead the same heavy breaths. This time though, they sounded wet.

"Fucked up, Two. Real fucked u-" came the words, before cutting himself off with a series of wet, spluttering coughs. "Pod... pod hit. Construction site. Right. Ugh. Right fuckin' through me. Over."

"Self aid, Marine, we're on the way. How bad?" asked Fitz, knowing the answer he was going to get. A grim thought entered his mind, hoping that the answer would be along the lines of 'too bad'. Mace's transmissions were coming from a location a good fifteen minutes in the wrong direction of both the objective and where the BNet - spotty as it was being - was estimating Delta-One and Delta-Three's trajectories. Mace was way off from his team.

"Not... fucking not good. Can't reach my foam. Couple minutes. Don't bother."

Fitz felt sick as one of the figures on his shoulder was silently grateful of the news. It reassured him though that he knew that it was fucked up to think in that way. He grimaced, pushed his feelings down and keyed up the COM after a few seconds of quiet.

"It's been an honour, Marine. Anything I can do?"

Lance Corporal Kenan Mace never replied.
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